Cheetah print running leggings

My Fun Sewing Weekend was going so well after I made my galaxy sweatshirt and black travel skirt that I decided to tweak the fit on my Kwik Sew one-piece leggings pattern and test it out on some unsuspecting cheetah-print nylon lycra from UK Fabrics (well, they call it leopard, but I say cheetah!).

I’d made this pattern a few times for myself and many times in classes, but I noticed when I made my crazy cat lady leggings recently that the fit was a bit too loose in places. I totally blame this on my training firming me up further, since the leggings were loose around the hips, upper thighs, and ankles. And perfectly fine at my runner’s calves and quads!

So I shaved off a good centimeter from the front & back crotch curves (meaning 4cm overall), another 1.5cm wedge from the inner thigh on both sides, and then a hefty 3cm wedge from both sides at the ankles. I have tiny, bird-like ankles, and the standard ankle width was just flapping in the breeze… So now my pattern is something like Size Small/XS in the waist and hips & upper thigh, Medium in the lower thigh/knee/calf, and XSish in the ankles. Hooray for custom fit!

These literally took me 20 minutes to cut out and sew together, and I wore them out on my Sunday run around Greenwich Park and back home along the river. These felt so much better for the little fitting tweaks – the cat leggings start to fall down after a few kilometers and pool around my quads (a sure sign they’re too loose above that point), but these stayed in place for the whole 20km run!

I had a friend take these photos on my phone after our first 5km lap of the park, not realising that I should’ve sucked my gut in, ha! I could’ve retaken them but I thought a lot of you might appreciate that even a Team GB athlete has some excess gut in the off-season! (And also because my waist pack has to be cinched tight to not bounce around).

I’m also really pleased with the quality of the nylon lycra from UK Fabrics, too – it’s got a nice weight, great recovery, and feels really high quality. It’s not technically wicking, but frankly, unless you’re running a marathon on a super hot day, it’s not going to matter much to the average runner anyway. I certainly had zero issues on my run today, and wouldn’t hesitate to run in them again!

This means I’ve now got a great, basic pattern to use when I want a pair of running leggings with an uninterrupted print. Of course, I’ve already got a great leggings pattern to use when I want to interrupt the print!

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